Vulnerable women in Plymouth to benefit from Tesco grant

MORE vulnerable women in Plymouth will receive much-needed support and counselling thanks to funding from Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative.

Plymouth-based charity Pregnancy Crisis Care helps individuals and couples who experience difficulties during an unexpected pregnancy or after the loss of a baby.

The charity has received £3,000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme, enabling it to double the number of trained volunteers from five to 10.

In 2018, the organisation saw 236 clients, which amounted to 1,333 counselling hours. That was up from 184 clients the year before.

Bags of Help grants, in partnership with environmental organisation Groundwork, are awarded to thousands of community projects every year. Since launching in 2015, the Tesco scheme has provided more than £67million to more than 21,000 local community projects.

Jane Frajbis, Pregnancy Crisis Care centre manager, said: “We’re really grateful to Tesco for this funding. It will help us support, train and supervise our volunteers who give their time so freely – increasing their knowledge, skills and confidence so that they in turn feel equipped to help many more people in our city.  Their support helps make a significant difference to many people in this city, often at a time of their greatest need.

“We will use the funds to supervise, manage and give face-to-face training to more volunteers and staff, enabling them to effectively work with very vulnerable clients who are extremely depressed, often suicidal, and in deep grief following the loss of a pregnancy.”

One client who benefited from Pregnancy Crisis Care said: “When I first attended, I was so engulfed in my grief I couldn’t see it ending. Having someone to talk to who wasn’t involved and who could help me explore my feelings has been invaluable in my healing process.”

Tesco customers get the chance to vote for three different recipients for Bags of Help grants each time they shop. Every other month, when votes are collected, three groups in each of Tesco’s regions are awarded funding.

Voting runs in stores, with customers choosing which local project they would like to get the top award, using a token given to them at the checkout. Grants are now available from £1,000 up to £4,000.

Keith Jackson, Tesco’s Bags of Help manager, said: “We’re proud to support Pregnancy Crisis Care in the fantastic work they do. It’s wonderful to see people really benefiting from the support and insight of its staff and volunteers, showing first-hand how a Bags of Help grant can have a positive impact on local communities.”

Graham Duxbury, Groundwork’s national chief executive, said: “Bags of Help continues to enable local communities to improve the local spaces and places that matter to them. The diversity of projects that are being funded shows that local communities have a passion to create something great in their area. We are pleased to be able to be a part of the journey and provide support and encouragement to help local communities thrive.”

Funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project, and organisations can apply online. To find out more visit www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp